As the spring equinox is almost here, we wanted to share a little bit about what this moment of transition is all about, and how we can use yoga to support us going into and through this transition with harmony and happiness.
So, what is an equinox? This word derives from Latin, meaning "equality of night and day." There are two of these moments in a year when these occur (March, denoting the spring/vernal equinox in which the Sun crosses the equator moving north; and September, denoting the autumn equinox in which the Sun crosses the equator moving south), and what happens is that the Sun is right above the equator at a particular moment of the day on which the equinox falls. For those on the southern hemisphere of the globe, the March equinox actually marks the autumn equinox and the September one marks the beginning of spring. To clarify the difference between equinox and solstice, as these words are often confused, the bi-yearly occurring solstices are in June and December, marking the beginning of summer and winter respectively (or vice versa, depending on which hemisphere of the world we are talking about), and these refer to moments when the Sun is actually at its largest distance from the (celestial) equator.
We can consider the equinox moment as a "hiatus." It literally means a period of time when something (such as an activity or program) is stopped; an interruption in time or continuity; a period when something is suspended or interrupted". There are three main points in this definition. The first two main points are the phrases "a period of time" and "an interruption". The third main point is not in the actual definition itself but in what is implied in the definition: the third main point is that even though there is "a period of time in which an activity is going to be interrupted" the implication is that when the "period of time" is over that the activity will once again begin to take place. The concept of hiatus is used in multiple fields, usually denoting a break between things (words, programs, a fissure in a physical structure and so forth). While change is the only constant, moments halfway through any given transition can be valuable moments of reflection, and meditation of where we are at in our lives, and what new stage we are moving into. The moment of a given hiatus is like a gap, a moment in between, the exact middle of a moment of transition. Another example of a hiatus would be the exact time of a Full Moon or New Moon.
The exact time of the spring equinox here in The Netherlands this year (2019) will be on 20th March, at 22:58. There are a few things we can do to harmoniously transition into the spring season
Overall, we can adapt our yoga practice accordingly. The breaking of spring time presents you with beautiful opportunity to open your heart more. Doing more yoga practices including sun salutations and heart-opening backbends will serve you well during this time of year. Also, it's a great time to start a practicing a new yoga technique or meditation, especially those which support purification such as the methods of kriya yoga.
From an Ayurvedic standpoint, in Spring we shift through the wet and rather heavy kapha (the dosha corresponding to water and earth) to the fiery dosha pitta. This means it's a good time for us to transform, and grow further. Letting go of the old and making space for the new. It is a time of rebirth after the dark and cold days of hibernation.The longer days coming up will support you in having more energy to make your dreams come true - use them wisely!
Eat more fresh and cooling foods - like fresh raw and watery vegetables (cucumbers and all types of fresh green salads). Consume more fresh fruits and herbs, and reduce your consumption of oily foods, dairy produce and sugary foods.
INTENTION SETTING & MEDITATION
The power of setting intentions in our lives at the moment of a hiatus is somewhat of an esoteric topic, and I believe it is magical way to work with and attune to the beneficial energies of the Universe. Everything is connected. Spring is a time of renewal. The astrological year begins with spring equinox as we move into the astrological sign of Aries, making it a great time to start things over. What aspects of yourself and your life need renewal, or a little bit of refreshment? Think about it, and water the seeds of your intentions to make the necessary changes happen!
Recalibrate your rhythm. Wake up to the rising sun, and seize the day. Exercise in the morning. Go on outdoor walks. Seek and enjoy the Sun. Enjoy the blooming flowers. Wear brighter colours. Clean up your home, donate things you no longer use, and perhaps even rearrange your space. Find more balance in your life. Detox. Clear from your life everything that no longer serves you. Create space for what does serve you. Do one thing everyday that is aligned with your goal setting to make your dreams come true. Allow yourself to be reborn. Let your heart bloom open like a beautiful lotus!
Thank you for reading and sincerely wishing you a beautiful transition into the spring season,